Home > 1970, 20th Century, French Literature, Gary, Romain, Novel, Wednesdays with Gary > Wednesdays with Romain Gary – Part thirteen

Wednesdays with Romain Gary – Part thirteen

Les Enchanteurs 1973. (The Enchanters).

Gary_LecturesI’m not sure this one has been translated into English and to be honest, this is not my favourite Gary. A lot of readers love it but I’m not drawn to magical realism. The narrator of Les Enchanteurs, Fosco Zaga is an old man. He’s more than two hundreds year old and he cannot die until someone else loves a man or a woman as deeply as he loves Teresina. He talks about her because if he stops, she’ll really die. The book is set in Russia when Catherine the Great was ruling the country. Fosco Zaga grew up in a family of enchanters and of travelling entertainers of Italian origins and he resurrects Russia in the 18th century with his memories. Fosco is a dreamer, an illusionist that bathes in dreams:

Je vais vous avouer qu’il m’arrive souvent de donner une préférence au rêve, ne laissant jamais à sa rivale la Réalité plus de cinquante pour cent des bénéfices, ce qui explique peut-être ma longévité, dont tant de gens s’étonnent, car ne vivant vraiment qu’à moitié, il est normal que ma ration de vie s’en trouve doublée. I must admit that I’m often in favour of dreams, only giving away to their rival Reality barely fifty per cent of the profits, which might explain my longevity. It surprises a lot of people but as I only half-live, it is quite normal that my life ration be doubled. Translation reviewed by Erik McDonald.

That’s Gary’s logic.

We only have three Wednesdays left before May which will be Romain Gary Literature Month. Several of you were interested in participating back in January, I hope you’ll still be there and willing to celebrate this wonderful writer with me.

Let’s read Romain Gary!



  1. April 10, 2014 at 6:19 am

    I’m not a fan of magical realism either, so I’d pass on this one anyway.


    • April 11, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      I can’t blame you.


  2. April 10, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Beautiful quote, Emma! I loved it 🙂 I haven’t much magic realism. But the plot of this book looks quite interesting. I can’t wait for Romain Gary month to start 🙂


    • April 11, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      Gary refers to his Russian roots, in this one. I don’t think it’s available in English.


  3. April 10, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I’ll be there, don’t worry! Éducation Européenne is still on my list for 8 May.


    • April 11, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      I still don’t know which one I’ll pick. I need to make a choice soon, though.


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